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Comment Re:Lots of bad assumptions here. (Score 2) 1127

Affordable housing does NOT require subsidies. It just requires sidelining the NIMBYs and BANANAs that are obstructing construction. If we expand the supply by building new housing, the price will go down.

Huh? Affordable housing usually does involve subsidies, although they may be indirect. I don't know all of the methods used of creating affordable housing, but in my area the city council can require new developments to set aside a certain percentage of units for affordable housing which will be sold or rented at below market rate to qualified low-income persons. This means that either the developer is eating the cost in terms of lost profit, or they are charging everybody else a little bit more to make up for the loss, which means that it is subsidized either by the developers or the non-low-income purchasers/renters.

Comment Re:Too cautious (Score 1) 329

3) it is already evident that the rate of fatalities using this mode is already a 35% improvement over non-autopilot users. (1 fatality in 130 million miles driven vs. 1 in 96 million)

With just a single fatality the fatality rate per mile driven is not known terribly precisely yet. Further, this rate is not corrected for sources of error including that Autopilot is only used on highways, what driving conditions Autopilot is typically used in, whether Autopilot users were alert and paying attention, that the Tesla Model S itself is a very safe car, or that the drivers who own Tesla vehicles may not be representative of the average US driver.

I think more data and analysis is required to make a confident comparison in safety of driving with Autopilot on vs. off.

Comment Re:On the contrary (Score 1) 392

100% is impossible, so if we follow your logic we will never have access to advanced cruise control with speed adjustment and auto-braking, lane warning/assist, things which many cars now have, and we will never have self-driving cars.

It doesn't need to be 100%, it just needs to be better than the average human.

Comment Re:Ideal vs. All Driving Conditions (Score 1) 265

In American English all roads are highways

I've been speaking American English all of my life and in my experience "highway" pretty much exclusively refers to "divided highway". There may be regional variations in usage, as well as distinctions in technical communications.

Comment Re:Is this what Bolden meant (Score 2) 84

There are big human rights issues in the UAE, and so I think NASA should tread carefully in what technology and knowledge they contribute to a country with such a record.

But beginning cooperation is probably a better method of effecting change than being antagonistic and trying to impose our views from the outside. Give them a better glimpse of what a country like ours is like and it might slowly shift views to be more tolerant, get religion out of government, respect human rights, and increase women's rights. The alternative is to shut the door to them and let them collaborate only with countries that have similar viewpoints.

Comment Re:Useless technology (Score 1) 88

This is true: economic efficiency (including all externalities) is the number that matters most. But at 0.55% energy efficiency in the conversion from solar to H2O2, dropped to 0.28% after H2O2 to electricity, it will need to be ridiculously cheap per for its economic efficiency to make up the huge gap in energy efficiency compared to traditional PV solar with battery storage.

Comment Re:Insurance scam (Score 2) 196

I don't follow your logic. Most new companies end up failing, this is not news. Do you think that green energy companies are failing at a higher percentage than other types of companies? Maybe they are, or maybe green energy companies failing just gets more press, causing you to become biased.

Of course none of this is suggestive of insurance fraud.

Comment Re:Why mention Google? (Score 2) 196

It cost the tax payer NOTHING to provide it.

Guaranteeing a $1.6 Billion loan actually costs the taxpayer somewhere between zero and $1.6 Billion, since the govt will assume the debt if the original debtor defaults.

I'm generally in favor of the Federal Government stimulating new and exploratory commercial energy developments with loan guarantees, but it is NOT FREE. This is absolutely a risky and expensive project which would make it more difficult to obtain private investment. But it could be quite valuable to find out if solar thermal plants are really commercially viable, so the govt stepped in to assume a large part of the financial risk.

Comment Re:Fake Currency as taxable income? (Score 1) 81

If the IRS didn't tax high dollar gifts then savvy people would legally avoid taxes by structuring income as gifts. In lieu of $40k income or bonus, an employer gives employee a $40k car and reduces their taxable income by $40k. Instead of $200/mo going to groceries, here's a $200 grocery store gift card. Etc, etc.

And this airline miles gift is effectively income in the same way a cash prize from a bug bounty program is income.

Now it may well be inconvenient to receive high-dollar gifts that are also taxable so you have to pay money to accept the gift... but going the other way and not taxing gifts has worse problems.

Comment Re:So, so wrong... (Score 1) 555

Why does every parking lot need every space equipped with a charger? I think that the market will provide ample incentive for build-out of charging infrastructure in proportion to demand. Smart grid technology for load balancing and to set charging speed or start time based on how quickly you need your car charged (not fast at all if we're talking overnight) will add value by saving EV owners on their electricity bill, so consumers, building owners, or utility companies will pay money for such technology.

A restaurant next to a highway might fill their parking lot with subsidized chargers to bring in more business. Businesses offering valet parking might add in a battery top-off (granted the average consumer doesn't use valet parking that often).

Chargers won't all be subsidized by a business though, so in many cases if you park in a charging spot you'll have to pay, either through a transponder in your car (like a highway toll transponder), NFC from your phone, or a credit card. The latter two payment options for charging stations already exist. This will naturally lead people to park in charging spots when they want to top off, and park in noncharging spots when they don't need it, thus obviating the need for every space to have a charger.

Apartment building owners will be have a monetary incentive to provide some kind of charging capability to renters, even if they bill the tenants for it... yes they'll have to run wiring but wiring isn't hard to run and it lasts for a really long time. They may do something like fuse the charging outlets to a lower current (and require renters to set the charge rate to match) so that the feed from the utility isn't excessive. There will be a strong value added by smart grid technology here to provide load balancing (you might pay a small premium for an immediate charge) so the electrical feed from the power line wouldn't be excessive because most people will select the slow charge option when they get home.

Comment Re:I can see this as an environmental disaster (Score 1) 460

What we can say for sure right now is that no uniform standard is being applied to these new consumer gasoline filling services. Some companies have no certification for driver and for all we know is a fly by night operation that will evaporate in bankruptcy court if they ever cause significant damage. Some have a Hazmat certification of some kind:

Purple customers can open the company’s app and get gas within an hour, and their drivers are regular people with no special certification. Filld operates around the clock but asks customers to schedule a delivery through their app at least a few hours in advance. They employ commercial drivers who receive Hazmat certification.

Operating in a regulatory vacuum, or possibly in violation of regulation, can lead to problems. It's all fun and games until somebody starts a fire that causes property damage and/or loss of life, or contaminates water or damages property with a gas spill.

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